Exhibiting exemplary courage villagers catch leopard alive
Meerut: In less than two months, the people of this western district of Uttar Pradesh witnessed an unusual situation where leopards strayed near human habitation. This time around a leopard was sighted in the rural area of the district and before it could cause injury to any one, it was caught alive by the villagers.
On Monday morning the villagers of Alamgir Badhala spotted a young leopard coming out of sugarcane field and entering a field of standing Rabi crop.
According to a local villager, two farmers were working in the agriculture field when they spotted a leopard. They both immediately raised an alarm and hearing their distress call, others working in the the nearby fields ran to their rescue. Seeing 8-10 people approaching it, the leopard crouched near an embankment.
The courageous villagers pounced on the feline and without hitting it with lathis or rods, pinned the animal to the ground and tied its legs with ropes. During the course of it, the leopard in a bid to free itself from the clutches of the villagers, injured one of them.
Later the forest department personnel reached the site and carried the animal to the Hastinapur forestry institute where it was examined by a vet and it was found that the leopard was in a perfect state of health with no injury marks of any sort.
It is estimated that the age of the leopard is around two to three years.
Earlier a leopard had strayed into the cantonment area of the district on February 23 and had injured several locals who had gathered to have glimpse of the feline. Before the authorities could lay a trap to catch the erring feline, it disappeared in the nearby forests.
Experts are of the view that this straying of felines is just due to the fact that human presssure on forests for food, fodder and fuel-wood is damaging the naturally fragile ecosystem and is also responsible for fast depletion of prey base owing to increase in poaching incidents. This is forcing the carnivores to venture into human settlements for search of prey animals.
This phenomenon of straying into human settlements leads to killing of domestic livestock which creates a hostile environment for these predators, opine experts.